The Breslau Rally: Day 4

It was a day of sand, mud and winching over 152 km yesterday during Stage 3 of the Rally. After the race started, we set out to find some good spots for photos.

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The map provided by the organization only listed two spots, and we hiked through the woods to get to the “canyon,” which was more of a steep climb up a small hill than anything else. The canyon was near the end of the Special, and since none of the competitors had arrived yet, we changed plans and went back to the truck to get some photos by the river crossing.

We waited for over an hour before the first car arrived. The depth of the water was at least 1.5 meters, but the first cars to arrive made it across without much difficulty. Later, there would be a lot of winching at that point.

At the start of the race the motorcycles and quads open the course, with the cars and light trucks following in that order. Trucks over 7.5 tons are the last to start. As the race progresses, the order of departure depends on the overall ranking of the vehicle. Although the motorcycles and quads always start before the cars and trucks, the latter start in order according to the ranking. As the race unfolds, many cars end up behind the heavy trucks, making the route even more difficult as the trucks degrade the dirt tracks as they pass.

At the crossing, when the trucks passed they dug into the mud, making the passage even deeper, and many cars were floating across and being pulled at the end.

The team had a hard day, and the last to return didn’t arrive at camp before 9:00pm. The Unimog was overheating because of all the caked-on mud, and the crew had to stop and clean some of it off as best they could. When they arrived, hungry and tired, the work wasn’t over: it was time to drain all the water out of the mechanics, change the oil in the axles, check everything over and make repairs.

Dinner wasn’t served until almost midnight, and it would be a short night’s rest before departing again today for Stage 4.

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The next few days are going to be rough.

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